They’ve won gold everywhere but at the Olympics. And even there, they’ve come painfully close. So as Ann Arbor native Betsey Armstrong said this week, there’s no denying the goal.
“After Beijing, you’re kind of left with a sense of unfinished business,” said Armstrong, one of 13 players officially named Thursday to the U.S. women’s water polo team for this summer’s London Olympics.
Armstrong, 29, anchors the U.S. team as arguably the world’s best goalkeeper, taking over as the starter in 2007. The former University of Michigan standout is the only member of the team to attend college outside of California.
The U.S. women have won gold at the last two world championships (2007, ’09), the last World Cup (’10) and the last three World League Super Final titles (’09-’11). But in the three Olympics where women’s water polo has been a medal event, they’ve won a bronze and two silvers, including a heartbreaking 9-8 loss to the Netherlands in the championship match in Beijing in 2008.
“It hurts when it seems like it’s the culmination of something,” Armstrong said. “But it isn’t the end. And given some time to heal, it’s an amazing thing to have a silver medal from the Olympic Games. It’s just remarkable. …
“But I definitely wanted to stick around. And after 2009 and the world championships in Rome, I knew. I still loved playing. I just wasn’t ready to be done.”